If you live in America and have ever visited a website, chances are you have been the victim of cybercrime.
According to a new study from Norton, an online security software company, nearly three-fourths of all Internet users in the U.S. (73%) have suffered some form of online crime, ranging from computer viruses to credit card fraud and identity theft. By comparison, 65% of Internet users worldwide are victims of these crimes.
Yet, as widespread as the problem is here, the U.S. only has the third worst rate overall. In Brazil and India, which tied for second, 76% of Internet users have been the victim of cybercrimes and in China, which snagged the top spot, the online crime rate is an astounding 83%.
Perhaps even more surprising than the cybercrime rate is the aftermath.
According to the report, the majority of cybercrime victims (56%) do not report the incident to authorities. More than that, it takes 28 days on average to resolve the crime and it costs the victim an average of $334.
Norton’s study is based on interviews with more than 7,000 people from 14 countries.
The study concludes that the best way to prevent cybercrime is to have up-to-date security software, which shouldn’t be too surprising since this advice comes from a security software company. However, there are other steps you can take. If you’re worried about someone hacking into your computer, you can adjust your firewall to a higher setting. Also, before you do any transaction with a site, you should see what other users have written about it online. And, of course, when checking your e-mails, be mindful about telltale signs that an incoming message is spam.
For more tips to tell if an online business is safe, check out this MainStreet article.
—For a comprehensive credit report, visit the BankingMyWay.com Credit Center.